I only saw Cindy maybe three times in five years. She was always out on maternity leave. She held a highly-coveted, upper-level clerk position but rarely actually worked. Her desk was dusty and looked abandoned except for a little area where her work would be deposited and then picked up by whoever was covering for her at the time.
Covering for Cindy was quite lucrative because you would earn Cindy’s rate of pay for the duration of her absence.
Cindy stands out in my memory for two reasons. The first was her smile. She had a slow, wan smile. Like someone who was just waking up and maybe smelled coffee brewing. Except it was 10 AM in a busy office. It was just odd.
The second thing that absolutely blew me away was the way she dressed. I have put together more office-appropriate outfits to do yard work. The first time I saw her I thought she was a homeless person who had wandered in off the street.
She wore actual slippers, and not just at her desk - she arrived in them. She wore large baggy t-shirts with holes worn through them paired with sweatpants in the same condition. She looked like the nice neighbor lady on an episode of Cops who answers the door at 3 AM in her housecoat and directs the police to the complex across the street.
If it weren’t for the fact that she looked oddly happy and made way more money than I did, my impulse would have been to wrap her in a blanket and bring her soup.